The Billy Reid + Weather Up Austin Shindig is only two weeks away, so if you haven’t RSVP’d to the party yet, be sure to do so here. Also, don’t forget to download the Shindig sampler, featuring a smattering of 15 tracks from artists playing the Austin event on March 12-13.
To further whet your appetite for this musical fiesta, check out a preview of five artists who are playing Day 1 of the festivities.
Jessica Lea Mayfield
Jessica Lea Mayfield has been logging it as a musician longer than most twentysomething artists. At the young age of 8, Mayfield cut her musical teeth when her family began touring as One Way Rider, a bluegrass band from south Ohio. By 11, Mayfield was playing guitar and writing her own songs. She released her first solo album at 15, a DIY effort that she recorded in her brother’s bedroom. That record led to a two-album collaboration with The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, who produced 2008’s With Blashphemy So Heartfelt and 2011’s Tell Me. This will be her second time playing the Billy Reid Shindig. She first played it in 2011, where she delivered an awesome performance of “I’ll Be The One You Want Someday.” Mayfield is set to release her newest record, Make My Head Sing…, on April 15 through ATO records.
Rhett Miller of the Old 97’s
Some people seem to possess boundless talent, and Rhett Miller is one of them. He’s a published author, owner of his own label, and a prolific musician with a total of 16 albums under his belt. Nine of those albums have come from his time as front man and lead songwriter of alt-country/rock quartet Old 97’s, a Dallas band credited with breaking down barriers and helping the alt-country movement of the mid-to-late ‘90s gain steam. Miller has also had a strong solo career, releasing six solo albums since 1989. Regardless of the act he’s perfoming with, Miller’s live show is always packed with energy and passion. His intensity led one Consequence of Sound reviewer to comment that he was worried that Miller’s heart “may simply give out” during the show. A veteran of SXSW, Miller played the festival several times over the last few years, both with Old 97’s and as a solo act.
Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang
Les Claypool and longtime collaborator Bryan Kehoe released their first record as the Duo de Twang earlier this year. They created a record of covers that they ‘twangified’, including modern hits and some of Claypool’s own catalogue. The tunes still have the heaviness and grunginess that you would expect from Claypool, but an undercurrent of Americana runs through them. One of the most notable tracks on the record is a cover of the Bee Gee’s ‘70s hit “Stayin’ Alive,” which Claypool and Kehoe made completely their own. The duo’s first SXSW performance is sure to be an interesting one – they recorded the album with only one guitar and one bass. We’re excited to see them bring it to life onstage.
When Nashville-based musician Graham Fitzpenn isn’t busy crafting tunes, he claims he’s “cruising a tram ride on the milky-way highway searching for the key to life.” If that’s what’s helping him write the awesome tracks he’s putting out as the lead songwriter and front man of Majestico, then we’re all for it. The band’s sound falls somewhere between glam rock, punk, and garage rock, calling for a slew of well-deserved comparisons to the New York Dolls. It’s unclear what to expect of the band as they play their first SXSW this year. Fitzpenn always brings an element of theatrics to the band’s live shows through his choice of dress, which has stayed wonderfully inconsistent throughout their live appearances.